Jeremy Pope
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'Drag Race's Tamisha Iman Is an Icon and You Need to Know It

Tamisha Iman on RuPaul's Drag Race.

Most contestants on RuPaul's Drag Race come on the shows to make their names, to launch their legacies. That's not a hard rule, of course —there are performers who come into the franchise with fairly large presences. Still, there are few who have come in with the legacy of one Tamisha Iman.

The Georgia-based performer came into season 13 with a story to tell: she had built a dynasty that she didn't want to be lost in the pages of history. She essentially wanted to stamp her name and brand as a part of the largest drag pageant in the world. She initially planned to do that in season 12, but shortly after being confirmed for the show she was diagnosed with cancer. Having fought that fight, she's back and ready for the Main Stage. Sure, she has become the Den Mother for the Werk Room, but as Symone once said "don't let the smooth taste fool ya, baby!"

As was mentioned in the episode, Iman is the mother and creator of the Iman dynasty — as far as we know there is no connection to Drag Race season 11's Mercedes Iman Diamond. She has almost 100 children, both living and dead. Her most known child is Tandi Iman DuPree, whose video goes viral every few years and another child is LaLa Ri, who she will be competing against on the season.

In 2001, DuPree made her now-famous "Wonder Woman" performance where she dropped out of the ceiling before launching into a choreography-heavy set to "Holding Out for a Hero" sung by Bonnie Tyler. Dee St. James, who competed in the Mr. pageant circuit, was her partner. The clip has gone on to inspire recreations like one that appeared on Glee. As her drag mother revealed, she died in 2005 from complications related to AIDS. But Iman doesn't just have a history of raising and grooming legends, she's an icon herself.

In her prime, Iman put on heavily-choreographed performances for pageants as well. With a team of backup dancers, Iman was THAT GIRL. So she may have been holding back as a true team player for episode three but don't count her out of the game. There's a reason she has a slew of crowns in her closet including winning national competitions like Miss Gay USofA in 2005, Miss Black Universe in 2000 and Miss Universe in 1998.

On top of the performance talent and being a genuinely amazing person, Iman is showing herself as a notable threat in the fashion arena as well. While we are still gagging over Symone and Gottmik from the second episode, Iman got some almost unparalleled praise from a person whose opinion arguably matters the most: RuPaul. The way that she blatantly eyed Iman's dress has us thinking that if Zaldy ever needs a day off, Iman could have another gig a la Raven doing Ru's makeup. 

She also has caused audiences to gag in the past on her looks, all of which she makes. Talk about a well-rounded entertainer.

RELATED | A Complete Guide to Drag Families in 'Drag Race' Season 13

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